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  • 1.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre.
    Politicisation of Religion in Scandinavian Parliamentary Debates 1988–20092014In: Politics, Religion & Ideology, ISSN 2156-7689, E-ISSN 2156-7697, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 565-582Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to study possible changes in the politicisation of religion in Scandinavia over time in records from parliamentary debates in Denmark, Norway and Sweden 1988–1989, 1998–1999 and 2008–2009. The study has shown that religion has been more politicised in terms of the number of speeches and debates with references to religion and the degree of problematisation of religion in Denmark and Norway. That is particularly the case with right-wing populist parties in opposition to Islam that possibly use it as a way of profiling in political competition. In contrast, Sweden has not seen a similar development, which may be due to the fact that it did not have a right-wing populist party in its parliament until 2010. The empirical findings of this study are discussed in relation to theories on globalisation and the boundary disputes that may arise as a consequence of globalisation, not least when religion, and particularly Islam, has been perceived to challenge societal core values.

  • 2.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, The Centre for the Study of Religion and Society.
    Religion as a Means to Societal Cohesion in Nordic Politics 1988-20102015In: Politics and Religion Journal, ISSN 1820-6581, E-ISSN 1820-659X, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 147-168Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While the Nordic countries have a history of many similarities in core values and institutional arrangements, a number of differences have developed in recent years in relation to religion, due to political reasons. In this article, findings from four empirical studies on religion in Nordic parliamentary politics are analysed in terms of weak or strong politicisation for the purpose of homogeneity or in diversity. From an analytical model, different patterns of the use of religion in politics in the ve countries are identified, due to the relationships between church and state, the level of religious diversity and the presence of right-wing populist parties. The conclusion is that religion once again has become a means to societal cohesion in Denmark, but also to some degree in Norway and Sweden in a search for a core authority in society. The main reason behind this change is the impact of globalisation. 

  • 3.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, The Centre for the Study of Religion and Society.
    Religion in Nordic Party Platforms 1988-20082013In: Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, ISSN 0809-7291, E-ISSN 1890-7008, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 121-139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, I will analyse how Nordic political parties refer to religion in party platforms from the late 1980s until 2008 in light of increased religious diversity and changed relations between church and state in the Nordic countries. Four questions are asked: (1) Does the number of issue-areas related to religion increase or decrease over time in the party platforms? (2) Does the connection between religion and other political issues, such as national identity, foreign policy, and human rights, change during this period? (3) How do the political parties view the positions of the majority churches and do they change over time? (4) What differences can be observed between the political parties in their approach to religion? The data consist of 136 party platforms from all the five Nordic countries in 1988, 1998, and 2008. The analysis shows that issues-areas related to religion increase in Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sweden, but decrease slightly in Norway. Religion is often mentioned in connection to religious diversity and globalization. The position of the majority churches in party platforms is fairly strong over time, although to decreasing degree, particularly in Sweden and Norway. Finally, the traditional religious cleavage (Lipset and Rokkan 1967) is still evident in Nordic politics, although the right-wing populist parties complicates this picture as they tend to use religion to defend national values against consequences of religious diversity.  

  • 4.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre.
    Religion in Nordic Politics as a Means to Societal Cohesion: An Empirical Study on Party Platforms and Parliamentary Debates 1988–20122015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, I address the relationship between religion and politics in the Nordic countries, 1988–2012, against a background of increasing religious diversity alongside more or less continuous relationships between church and state. My aim is to analyse possible changes in the way religion is referred to by Nordic parliamentary parties, and in the way these parties use religion as a means to societal cohesion. I use theories on religious change and on the motives for using religion in politics to discuss a possible re-emergence of religion in politics, with the help of concepts such as functional differentiation, glocalisation and politicisation. I apply different forms of content analysis in a mixed-methods approach, using both substantial and functional definitions of religion. The thesis is based on four articles published or accepted for publication in peer-reviewed international journals: First, a study on religion in Nordic party platforms from around 1988, 1998 and 2008. Second, a study on religion in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish parliamentary debates, 1988/89, 1998/99 and 2008/09. Third, a study on the role of the majority churches in the final Nordic parliamentary debates on same-sex unions 1989–2012. Fourth, a study on Danish and Norwegian parliamentary debates on the wearing of veils among judges and policewomen in 2009. The major findings are that the references to religious diversity in party platforms and parliamentary debates have increased, which leads to a more complex understanding of the religious cleavage in politics, and that right-wing populist parties in particular politicise religion to achieve political influence. Furthermore, human rights have been increasingly used to address religious diversity as a political issue. I interpret these findings as continuous use of religion for societal cohesion in Nordic politics, through a model of different forms of politicisation using the concepts civil religion, human rights and nationalism. The thesis contributes to a better understanding of the religious cleavage, politicisation of religion, the impact of globalisation on the political debate about religion and changes as well as continuity regarding the use of religion in Nordic politics.

    List of papers
    1. Religion in Nordic Party Platforms 1988-2008
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Religion in Nordic Party Platforms 1988-2008
    2013 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Religion and Society, ISSN 0809-7291, E-ISSN 1890-7008, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 121-139Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, I will analyse how Nordic political parties refer to religion in party platforms from the late 1980s until 2008 in light of increased religious diversity and changed relations between church and state in the Nordic countries. Four questions are asked: (1) Does the number of issue-areas related to religion increase or decrease over time in the party platforms? (2) Does the connection between religion and other political issues, such as national identity, foreign policy, and human rights, change during this period? (3) How do the political parties view the positions of the majority churches and do they change over time? (4) What differences can be observed between the political parties in their approach to religion? The data consist of 136 party platforms from all the five Nordic countries in 1988, 1998, and 2008. The analysis shows that issues-areas related to religion increase in Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sweden, but decrease slightly in Norway. Religion is often mentioned in connection to religious diversity and globalization. The position of the majority churches in party platforms is fairly strong over time, although to decreasing degree, particularly in Sweden and Norway. Finally, the traditional religious cleavage (Lipset and Rokkan 1967) is still evident in Nordic politics, although the right-wing populist parties complicates this picture as they tend to use religion to defend national values against consequences of religious diversity.  

    Keywords
    Religion, political parties, Nordic countries, Scandinavia, party platforms
    National Category
    Religious Studies
    Research subject
    Sociology of Religion
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-211200 (URN)
    Projects
    Impact of ReligionNOREL
    Available from: 2013-11-21 Created: 2013-11-21 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
    2. Politicisation of Religion in Scandinavian Parliamentary Debates 1988–2009
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Politicisation of Religion in Scandinavian Parliamentary Debates 1988–2009
    2014 (English)In: Politics, Religion & Ideology, ISSN 2156-7689, E-ISSN 2156-7697, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 565-582Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this article is to study possible changes in the politicisation of religion in Scandinavia over time in records from parliamentary debates in Denmark, Norway and Sweden 1988–1989, 1998–1999 and 2008–2009. The study has shown that religion has been more politicised in terms of the number of speeches and debates with references to religion and the degree of problematisation of religion in Denmark and Norway. That is particularly the case with right-wing populist parties in opposition to Islam that possibly use it as a way of profiling in political competition. In contrast, Sweden has not seen a similar development, which may be due to the fact that it did not have a right-wing populist party in its parliament until 2010. The empirical findings of this study are discussed in relation to theories on globalisation and the boundary disputes that may arise as a consequence of globalisation, not least when religion, and particularly Islam, has been perceived to challenge societal core values.

    Keywords
    Religion, politics, politicisation, Scandinavia, parliament, right-wing populist, globalization
    National Category
    Religious Studies
    Research subject
    Sociology of Religion
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240744 (URN)10.1080/21567689.2014.965693 (DOI)
    Projects
    NORELImpact of Religion
    Funder
    Nordic Council of Ministers
    Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05
    3. Renegotiating the Role of Majority Churches in Nordic Parliamentary Debates on Same-Sex Unions
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Renegotiating the Role of Majority Churches in Nordic Parliamentary Debates on Same-Sex Unions
    2016 (English)In: Journal of Church and State, ISSN 0021-969X, E-ISSN 2040-4867, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 80-97Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, a case study is used to analyse how the position of the majority churches is expressed in Nordic parliamentary debates on same-sex unions and to discuss the results in relation to theories on functional differentiation contextualised through socio-cultural factors. In the study, the degree of references to the majority churches in the debates is analysed and to what degree Members of Parliament support the role of the majority churches as performers of legally binding weddings. It is also analysed to what degree the majority churches directly and indirectly are used as authorities to strengthen the claims for or against same-sex unions. In the conclusion, these debates are understood as a re-negotiation of the role of the majority churches due to their ability to continuously function through performance and as public utilities. Meanwhile, socio-cultural factors are also used to explain differences in how the role of the majority churches is referred to in the parliamentary debates on same-sex unions in the different countries. 

    Keywords
    church, state, Nordic, Scandinavian, same-sex union, homosexuality, politics, parliament
    National Category
    Religious Studies
    Research subject
    Sociology of Religion
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-240750 (URN)10.1093/jcs/csu103 (DOI)000397127800004 ()
    Projects
    NORELImpact of Religion
    Funder
    Nordic Council of Ministers
    Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2017-06-30Bibliographically approved
    4. Values and Veils in Danish and Norwegian Parliamentary Debates and the Absence of Gender
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Values and Veils in Danish and Norwegian Parliamentary Debates and the Absence of Gender
    2015 (English)In: Religion and Gender, ISSN 1878-5417, E-ISSN 1878-5417, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 135-149Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This is a case study on the kinds of values that were invoked in the parliamentary debates in 2009 on whether or not Danish judges and Norwegian policewomen should be allowed to wear veils for religious reasons in their line of duty. The case marks a shift and the limits of the until-then fairly liberal religious accommodation by the two states. Despite the high esteem of gender equality in Denmark and Norway, gender values are less referred to in these debates and the most common values are instead secularism, secular progress and neutrality or, more explicitly, the impartiality and credibility of the state. The findings are understood as a sign of the adaptive character of symbolic politics to focus on different values depending on the issue, as the underlying purpose is to distinguish between the majority population and (religious) minorities through the use of a narrative of secular progress. A secularism based on such narrative is used to express a clash between values associated with secularity, freedom and modernity and religion, oppression and tradition, here symbolised by the wearing of veils.

    Keywords
    Gender, Scandinavia, secularism, values, veil
    National Category
    Religious Studies
    Research subject
    Sociology of Religion
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241249 (URN)doi.org/10.18352/rg.10121 (DOI)
    Projects
    Impact of religion
    Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05
  • 5.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre.
    Renegotiating the Role of Majority Churches in Nordic Parliamentary Debates on Same-Sex Unions2016In: Journal of Church and State, ISSN 0021-969X, E-ISSN 2040-4867, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 80-97Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, a case study is used to analyse how the position of the majority churches is expressed in Nordic parliamentary debates on same-sex unions and to discuss the results in relation to theories on functional differentiation contextualised through socio-cultural factors. In the study, the degree of references to the majority churches in the debates is analysed and to what degree Members of Parliament support the role of the majority churches as performers of legally binding weddings. It is also analysed to what degree the majority churches directly and indirectly are used as authorities to strengthen the claims for or against same-sex unions. In the conclusion, these debates are understood as a re-negotiation of the role of the majority churches due to their ability to continuously function through performance and as public utilities. Meanwhile, socio-cultural factors are also used to explain differences in how the role of the majority churches is referred to in the parliamentary debates on same-sex unions in the different countries. 

  • 6.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre.
    The relationship between religion and politics, as reflected in party platforms in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden 1988-20082011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    As part of the work on my dissertation on religion and politics in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden I examine the party platforms from all parliamentary parties in these countries from 1988, 1998 and 2008 or ones that are as close to those years as possible. In my paper I try to show an overall change from a more or less mono- religious political discourse to a more multi-religious one. But I will also try to point to differences between these Nordic countries in that respect. I will also try to map what kinds of secularism that are being expressed within these platforms and how religion is being portrayed as a positive resource respectively as a (potential) problem.

  • 7.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
    The Uses of Christianity in Nordic Nationalist Parties’ Opposition to Islam2011In: Swedish Missiological Themes, ISSN 0346-217X, Vol. 99, no 2, p. 137-156Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Benedict Anderson’s classical book Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism there are several connections between nationalism and religion. And yet these are not explicitly expressed, which might seem strange as empirical evidence clearly might show strong such bonds. In this article I will try to show empirically how the nationalist, or Radical Right-Wing Populist parties, in the Nordic countries not only incorporates religion in a cultural sense in it’s ideology, but also uses Christianity as a tool against the presence and impact of Islam.

  • 8.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, The Centre for the Study of Religion and Society.
    Values and Veils in Danish and Norwegian Parliamentary Debates and the Absence of Gender2015In: Religion and Gender, ISSN 1878-5417, E-ISSN 1878-5417, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 135-149Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a case study on the kinds of values that were invoked in the parliamentary debates in 2009 on whether or not Danish judges and Norwegian policewomen should be allowed to wear veils for religious reasons in their line of duty. The case marks a shift and the limits of the until-then fairly liberal religious accommodation by the two states. Despite the high esteem of gender equality in Denmark and Norway, gender values are less referred to in these debates and the most common values are instead secularism, secular progress and neutrality or, more explicitly, the impartiality and credibility of the state. The findings are understood as a sign of the adaptive character of symbolic politics to focus on different values depending on the issue, as the underlying purpose is to distinguish between the majority population and (religious) minorities through the use of a narrative of secular progress. A secularism based on such narrative is used to express a clash between values associated with secularity, freedom and modernity and religion, oppression and tradition, here symbolised by the wearing of veils.

  • 9.
    Lindberg, Jonas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre.
    When politics and religion make friends and enemies: Reactions on bishop Eva Brunne’s sermon against xenophobia on the opening of the Swedish parliament2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In spite of the separation of church and state in Sweden in 2000, the Swedish parliamentary year still opens with a church service in the Cathedral of the diocese of Stockholm (Storkyrkan). Just two weeks before the annual church service on October 5th 2010, a new nationalistic and xenophobic political party (including the Sweden Democrats) got seats in the Swedish parliament. In her sermon bishop Eva Brunne preached against xenophobia, which led representatives of Sverigedemokraterna to leave the church. My intention here is to illuminate current Swedish relations between religion and politics, state and church through this event. I will examine published reactions from politicians (including the Sweden Democrats), officials within the Church of Sweden, Humanists, editorials and bloggers. 

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